IT WAS not yet 3pm and he was already leading police on his third high-speed chase of the day.

But after eight hours and more than 300 kilometres of road, police caught up to Kevin Glen Jones, a man whose chequered criminal career has been by turns hapless, lucky and violent.

After 8am on Saturday, the Highway Patrol pulled up behind a silver Holden Astra with Queensland licence plates travelling into Tamworth.

They had only just begun to flash their lights when the man and teenage girl in his passenger seat tore off at breakneck speeds. It would soon be clear why.

Police say Mr Jones sped up to 180km/h in an 80km/h zone. They gave up the chase before he reached town. By then, they claim to have clocked him doing 195km/h.

Mr Jones was moving with speed because he has the rare distinction of being wanted by police in four states, for alleged crimes Fairfax Media understands include robbery, car stealing and leading police on high-speed pursuits.

Mr Jones's criminal career, the public record shows, began while in Queensland.

In 2007, when he was just 21, he was wanted by Gold Coast police for a parole violation and suspicion of stealing.

In 2010, he moved to Tasmania for a fresh start. But the intoxicating power of dumb luck proved his undoing.

Early one morning, Mr Jones snuck into a suburban home after stealing a car. He helped himself to a handbag, cash and a safe while the family slept.

When he blew the safe apart he had a windfall: $29,600 in cash.

What happened next was a blur, his lawyer told a Tasmanian court. He spent the cash on a new car, hotel rooms and shouting strangers and newly-minted friends rounds at the bar.

It was only when he drunkenly crashed his car into a tree that he confessed, with no prompting, to robbing the house.

Then things took a violent turn. Last year, Mr Jones allegedly smashed an 18-year-old man in the face with a metal baseball bat, for which he was charged with grievous bodily harm.

What happened to him between then and Saturday is unclear.

After the morning encounter near Tamworth, NSW police caught sight of Mr Jones about 1.30pm, 300 kilometres east, but he evaded them. And then he did so again more than an hour later at Kempsey.

Police found the car on the side of the road and by 4pm had tracked Mr Jones to an address in Kempsey. They found him with a small amount of jewellery and a couple of hundred dollars in foreign currency.

His 17-year-old female companion was released, but Mr Jones was charged with offences including dangerous driving and leading police on a pursuit.

He was refused bail at a Port Macquarie court on Sunday until January 7.